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Kuusakoski Oy has come a long way from being a junkyard in Vyborg to its current position as Northern Europe's leading industrial recycling company. The strongest periods of growth for our company, whose history stretches back over 100 years, were Finland's post-war decades of industrialisation and the time of our entry into the international market from the 1970s to the 1990s. Pioneering research and development work and unparalleled expertise in high technology have also played an important role from the very beginning.
It all started in Vyborg, still part of Finland in 1914, when the 25-year-old Donuard Kuschakoff established a company called Karjalan Lumppu- ja Romuliike ('Karelian Rag and Junk Company'). He collected waste metal, iron and waste fabrics with the purpose of sorting and refining them for industrial use. The First World War had a considerable impact on the availability of raw materials, and material shortages were reflected in increased demand for iron and metal junk and rags. Everything that could be collected and recovered was sold. The entire 1920s were a period of rapid growth.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, the company relocated to Helsinki in the early 1940s. The Kuschakoffs had changed their family name to the more Finnish Kuusakoski in 1934. The war had left a surplus of metal junk, and Finland's warplanes that were to be scrapped as ordered by the Paris Peace Treaties were given to Kuusakoski for scrapping. This was a considerable source of material for the company and provided the impetus for the planning of an aluminium smelting plant.
From the 1950s to the late 1970s, the company extended its operations from the junk business to industrial materials as Finland's national economy climbed to match the average European level. A pioneering smelting plant was established in a new facility in Kauklahti, Espoo and operations expanded rapidly. The company's in-house laboratory and R&D department were also soon relocated to Kauklahti. The company opened Finland's first car scrapping yard, accompanied by an aluminium smelting plant, in Heinola.
In the 1980s and the 1990s the company invested in the development of new recycling and material processing solutions and underwent rapid growth and globalisation. In the new millennium, we have focused on expanding and developing our material sourcing network, and the 2010s have seen considerable activity especially in the fields of research and high technology.
Our company has expanded and evolved over a period of one hundred years. Today we have activities in 11 countries and employ almost 3,000 employees. Our success today is based on our know-how and expertise in materials, recycling and ecotechnology.